First Solar Inc. plans to build its new U.S. manufacturing center in Mesa, Ariz., investing approximately $300 million in the factory and creating up to 600 jobs. The facility is approximately 30 minutes from First Solar's corporate headquarters in Tempe, Ariz.
The facility will include four manufacturing lines with a capacity to produce more than 250 MW of thin-film photovoltaic modules per year. The new factory, in combination with First Solar's recently expanded facility in Perrysburg, Ohio, will increase the company's U.S. production capacity to more than 500 MW per year, the company notes.
Construction will begin in the second quarter of this year and is expected to last a year, creating an average of 400 to 500 construction jobs. Module shipments are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012.
The facility is located on a 135-acre site that was previously home to a General Motors vehicle testing facility and is designed to accommodate future expansion. The facility will include a 3 MW rooftop solar installation, as well as an extensive ground-mounted PV testing facility.
SOURCE: First Solar